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Betty lambert's plays for children: A feminist approach to theatre for young audiences

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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English Canadian playwright, Betty Lambert, the focus of this thesis, started writing children’s plays in the 1960’s. These plays reflect her feminist ideals that became prominent in her later work, such as in her best-known play, Jennie’s Story. Analyzing Lambert’s The Riddle Machine and Song of the Serpent, the relationship between feminism and theatre for young audiences can be discerned by looking at methods of realism, moral education and gender, and “empowerment through the idea of ‘Truth.’” These are explored using a combination of Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal’s writings on theatre, Dorothy Heathcote’s ideas on drama and education, and Lawrence Kohlberg and Carole Gilligan’s theories of ‘moral education.’ Using analysis of Lambert’s children’s plays, my thesis proves the importance of provoking a feminist consciousness from a young age to disrupt gender stereotypes and inspire children to pursue their goals. I speculate on how Lambert’s plays can inform contemporary theatre.
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